Primary Slave - 'Another Mark Is Drawn' (One Eyed Toad Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 25 August 2012 04:30

primaryslave'Another Mark Is Drawn' is the long awaited second album from these UK Cyber Metallers, and the follow up to their highly acclaimed debut 'Data Plague'. Formed in 1998 by former Cradle Of Filth guitarist Paul Allender, amongst the players was one Mark Giltrow who became the driving force when Allender decided to rejoin Cradle of Filth. Success eluded them after the release of their critically acclaimed debut but Mark continued working on the follow up with drummer Graham Lyons. Over the next two years he wrote and recorded this album on his home studio, handling the vocals, guitars and bass. However tragedy struck on April 25th 2006 when Mark was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. The album was 90% completed when Mark died and the fruits of his labour seemingly would never see the light of day. His friends and family felt the album should be completed, and financed completely by them 'Another Mark Is Drawn' is the result of four years hard work against all the odds by three brothers, his band mates, his friends and 'Data Plague' producer Horace Noidea. It has been a labour of love involving a failed hard drive which nearly put a stop to the project, but persevere they did and the resulting album is a fitting tribute to the late Mark Giltrow.

 

Opener 'Powdered' is a steady blast of late '90s nu metal; it's all fat riffs with underlying electronica, Mark's vocals sitting nicely somewhere between Perry Farrell and Kory Clarke, it would not sound out of place on one of the many film soundtrack compilations from that time period. 'Defiled' creates a gentler vibe, Mark's vocals less volatile here, the more grungy influences appear in the really nice sounding verse giving off a Stone Sour sort of vibe.

 

Luckily the digipack comes with lyrics because I struggle to make out the words on songs like 'Dead Oceans' there are so many vocal effects going on. Of course this is understandable due to the nature of the album's progression, but sometimes it doesn't make for easy listening. Having said that there are some truly great parts going on in 'The Game', the melody twists and turns oddly in a System Of A Down sort of way, it's a short, spikey sounding song that comes with a bite.

 

The epic feel of a song such as 'C.R.E.A.M.' goes a long way to capturing something special, with regimental drum beats and staggered sounding riffage the nice vocal melodies it creates a very modern and metallic sound. It builds nicely to an epic sounding chorus that stays in the mind, this is a stand out song for me.

 

The album veers from progressive heavy rock to futuristic, Industrial tinged Cyber Metal. Nu Metal riffs are abundant throughout and mixed with the underlying electronica buried within the deep depths of the songs, it gives a cinematic vibe that will not go away. With the overall sound being processed and metallic it seems to make perfect sci-fi film soundtrack fodder to my ears. The riffs and melodies may sometimes verge on the generic side of things and that I feel will not keep me coming back for more, as a lot of it seems to filter into the background.

 

Considering the task at hand, the fact that some tracks have just guide vocals and some parts had to be left instrumental, the album feels whole and nothing stands out as being unfinished, so credit must go out to the players and producer for doing a great job. While a lot of thought and effort has gone into every aspect of making this album, there is not enough stand out material to make it essential listening for me. What it does succeed in doing is complete the process that Mark started and get his final musical opus out to the world.

 

With the final release of this album Mark's vision has been realised, it stands as a tribute to the man and a document to the music he was working on, nothing more and nothing less. Yet the question will always remain...what could he have accomplished if he had been given more time on this earth? Sadly we will never know.

 

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